Stigma and Mental Illness Statistics
Three out of four people with a mental illness report that they have experienced stigma. Stigma is a mark of disgrace that sets a person apart. When a person is labelled by their illness they are seen as part of a stereotyped group. Negative attitudes create prejudice which leads to negative actions and discrimination
Many people with serious mental illness are challenged doubly. On one hand, they struggle with the symptoms and disabilities that result from the disease. On the other, they are challenged by the stereotypes and prejudice that result from misconceptions about mental illness. As a result of both, people with mental illness are robbed of the opportunities that define a quality life: good jobs, safe housing, satisfactory health care, and affiliation with a diverse group of people. Although research has gone far to understand the impact of the disease, it has only recently begun to explain stigma in mental illness. Much work yet needs to be done to fully understand the breadth and scope of prejudice against people with mental illness. Fortunately, social psychologists and sociologists have been studying phenomena related to stigma in other minority groups for several decades. In this paper, we integrate research specific to mental illness stigma with the more general body of research on stereotypes and prejudice to provide a brief overview of issues in the area.
Sadness and grief are normal human emotions. We all have those feelings from time to time, but they usually go away within a few days. Major depression is something more. It’s a period of overwhelming sadness. It involves a loss of interest in things that used to bring pleasure. Those feelings are usually accompanied by other emotional and physical symptoms. Untreated, depression can lead to serious complications that put your life at risk. Fortunately, most people can be effectively treated.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about 10 to 15 percent of women develop postpartum depression. Untreated, it can be dangerous for mother and baby.
When major depression or bipolar disorder are accompanied by hallucinations, delusions, or paranoia, it’s called psychotic depression. About 20 percent of people with major depressive disorder develop psychotic symptoms, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)